A Singular Wedding
(23 Arhat 358 SV: 18 of 19)
The midnight hour has come and gone, and I find I can write with a little less urgency now that the first, more immediate, message has been sent. In hopes it will calm my nerves, I will set quill to parchment and describe something of a more peaceful and beautiful nature: the ceremony that joined Glimmerglass and Stormhand into one soul. This occured several days ago, but remains fresh within my mind’s eye.
Weddings occur with regular consistency in Elanthia, but this one held special prominence in my eyes not only for my affections for the couple involved, but for the uniqueness of the ritual. For the first time in many a generation, non-elf outsiders were allowed to witness and participate in a ceremony with roots originating deep in the past. The concession was made, no doubt, for the already controversial (in some corners) decision of the Elf Seer, Glimmerglass, to accept a Human Warrior Mage as partner and in soul bonding.
There were two portions of the ceremony, one public for the surface wedding, the other private for the deeper melding of souls. Sarrgon presided as the wise man who would lead both parts of the ceremony. Long wandering Barnacus would be Stormhand’s witness while Freye, sister to Glimmerglass’s heart, would be the elf’s.
The public half of the ceremony began with Father Sarrgon laying out a quilt upon the floor of the chapel. This would be symbolic of the home that the couple would wish to build between them. The four compass points would be guarded from all outsiders who would intervene. The priest took up the northern corner as representing the house of the present.
Wanderer Barnacus and Bard Freye then took up their positions to the West and east of the home respectively. As witnesses it would be their duty to assist the couple, and to call forth the lineage of both family lines. When they had taken their places, a subtle signal was sent to where the couple awaited.
I led them out, Glimmerglass on my left arm (never had she looked so beautiful) and Stormhand marching in step to my right. I would be taking the South corner of the quilt as guardian to the past. The symbolic past that had led them to this point in their life. Never have I been so nervous at a wedding before, for these two’s happiness were as my heart joining without ever having known it was separated.
At Sarrgon’s nod, and after a few words of advice from this paladin, the past stepped away from between the pair and their witness came forward to help seat them upon the quilt. We heard from Freye the retelling of Glimmerglass’s noble ancestors, traced through the female line for seven generations. The true-elven names melodiously swirled about our heads for Freye’s bardic skill seemed to invoke their very presence.
For the retelling of Stormhand’s lineage back seven generations of heroic history, the bard Tensyl stepped forth. Barnacus, bless his bright soul, insists he cannot sing worth a canary’s warble. But Tensyl’s skill proved him the perfect choice for the fill-in, and his ritual drum drew forth answering tempos from all hearts who listened to the recollection.
Sarrgon’s wave was the signal for the witnesses and myself to draw weapons and spin to face outward of the quilt. One by one we issued challenges to any who would oppose this joining. Sarrgon, guardian of the present, challenged the guests for any who would dare with to interpose. The room was very still.
Freye challenged eastward, her voice raised to call forth Glimmerglass’s god Damaris. She challenged the deity to show disapproval and promised to fight for her heart-sister’s cause. All present bore witness that Damaris’ great dark panther showed! It casually walked around Freye, flicked its tail once and then loped away with no challenge to the wedding.
Barnacus’ blade faced westward and he likewise called upon a god to challenge any fault the deity may have with the ceremony. Meraud, worshiped by Stormhand, sent his wolf with a distant boom of thunder. The creature’s eyes were compelling as it walked around the mortal who dared to challenge the god of magic. Yet he also had no wish to intervene against the joining and it turned to fade westward.
With a salute of my axe southward, I then issued my challenge to all the ancestors of both human and elf who had passed to the starry road. After beseeching Peri’el and Everild for vocal strength I shouted for any spirit who would hold grievance to this wedding to come forth and face the blessed edge of my axe. After several heart beats none showed and the four guardians relaxed with the challenges complete.
The public ceremony from this point was much as any other wedding I have attended. Sarrgon quizzed both participants as to their intent and the vows and rings were exchanged. The rings were of exquisite make; one of a moonstone band inset with a glowing sunstone gem, the other a sunstone band inset with a glowing moonstone. The rose was passed from Stormhand’s lips to Glimmerglass’s and they were then wed.
If this were to be a human wedding, the ceremony would be finished at that moment. Yet the loving couple wished a deeper bond, one more ancient and significant than the first had been. This would be the private portion of the ceremony that only the witnesses and the wedded pair would be party to. I know not the details beyond it involved the symbolic death of the two souls, and their rebirth and merging into one.
Sarrgon led those involved to the site of the ceremony, and I gathered the guests to eat and drink while we waited. When Sarrgon returned to announce the “deaths” of the couple, I took up my position to guard the way to them. Several songs were sung and eventually (after one mishap with an over eager guest devouring near a layer of the wedding cake…though I will spare his name from this chronicle) the witnesses emerged to proclaim the birth of a new life: Stormhand and Glimmerglass made one.
There will be some who question my inclusion of this event in this journal. To them I can only say that the intent of these entries are to record all examples of bravery and honor that I am privileged to witness. Even in those things considered “everyday events” are there many instances of simple courage. This wedding is the cumulation of years of life’s laborious journey for both participants. For them, one quest has ended and a brighter one has begun.
Until next, Gentle Reader…